Banbury Cakes

These traditional English cakes are made of puff pastry and filled with dried fruit. They are light and crispy and may be

served with tea or coffee.

8 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

8 oz. unsalted butter

5 fl. oz. iced water

2 oz. butter 2 oz. sugar

1 small egg yolk

2 oz. cup sultanas or raisins 2 oz. cup currants

1 oz. cake crumbs

1 oz. candied peel, chopped

2 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

grated rind and juice of 4 lemon 1 egg white, lightly beaten

Sift the flour and salt into a medium-si/.cd mixing bowl. With a table knife, cut 2 oz. butter into the flour. Crumble the butter and flour with your fingers and, with the water, mix to a firm dough. Knead the dough to make it pliable. Cover

with greaseproof or waxed paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Put the remaining amount of butter between two pieces of greaseproof paper and beat it with the back of a spoon or a wooden mallet into a flat oblong slab about J-inch thick.

On a floured board, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape

1/4inch thick. Place the slab of butter in the centre of the dough and fold the dough over it to make a parcel.

Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Place the dough, with the folds downwards, on the board and roll out away from you into a rectangle. Fold the rectangle in

3, the open end facing you and roll out again. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Repeat this twice more.

Preheat the oven to hot 425°F (Gas Mark 7, 220°C).

To prepare the filling, cream the butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. When the mixture is well creamed, beat in the egg yolk. Mix in the sultanas, currants, cake crumbs, candied peel, ginger, nutmeg, lemon rind and lemon juice.

On a floured board, roll out the dough thinly and cut it into 4-inch rounds. Dampen the edges with water and put a spoonful of mixture on to each round of pastry. Fold the pastry over the filling and turn upside down. Pat each cake into

an oval shape and make 3 cuts in the tops. Place on a baking tin. Brush with beaten egg white, dust with a little sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cakes are crisp and golden.

Remove the cakes and cool on a rack.

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